Because hearts aren’t made of steel, it may take longer than you find acceptable to move past your last relationship. When you’re not over your ex, it feels virtually impossible to remain present and get back to a life that doesn’t revolve around this person who was once such a huge part of your world. Some of us pick up the pieces and move on much swifter than others (kudos to them), but if you’re *still* not over the breakup, chances are you’re still ruminating over why things didn’t work out while experiencing all the other awful stages of getting over heartbreak.
But there’s hope for the future. Trust that you’ll know and feel it in your bones the exact moment you’re done with your ex for good. Until then, continue reaching for the stars while you implement these nifty strategies for moving on when you’re still not over your ex.
1. SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
This one’s a bit hard to swallow because you’re all caught up in the coulda, woulda, shouldas of a relationship that reached its peak and came to an end. Get real with yourself about the fact that the relationship ended for legitimate reasons that don’t hold up to the fantasy you’re mourning in your head. Focus on how wonderful it is to only have your feelings to consider, and feel free to take advantage of it without feeling guilty.
2. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP IF YOU STILL LOVE YOUR EX.
Even if things ended on crappy terms, you’re not a robot, so pressuring yourself to turn off the intense feelings you have for your ex is an exercise in futility. Being in denial only extends the amount of time it will take you to come to terms with the loss (and yes, a breakup is totally a loss).
It took a while to develop that emotional bond you shared, so don’t expect those emotions to go away so easily. Accept that while you still have love for them, it doesn’t mean you should act on those feelings or that the breakup shouldn’t have happened.
3. DITCH THE PATHETICALLY SAD PLAYLIST.
Um, we might know a thing or two about wallowing entire months of our lives away with the help of a down-in-the-dumps-ugh-I-realllly-miss-my-old-boo playlist. We know there’s scientific proof that listening to sad songs helps some people feel better, but if hearing a melodic crooning of your life story literally wrecks your brain, it may be time to update your playlist with music that depicts how you want to feel, instead of tunes that reflect (and possibly reinforce) your miserable reality.
4. TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX.
Not only does this cut down on all the time you spend Facebook stalking your ex, too much online interaction has been known to cause anxiety, feelings of isolation, and a lack of focus on yourself, all of which will likely compound your inability to heal and move forward.
5. TRY HYPNOSIS.
Hey, it helps people get over their fear of flying, so why couldn’t it help to mend someone’s broken heart? Apparently, using hypnotherapy to get over a breakup involves helping the individual replace (not eliminate) negative memories with more positive ones.
As The Cut writer Julieanne Smolinski writes of her experience with breakup hypnosis,
Dr. N. could help rid me of the behavior related to pain (the urge to text, or to equate heartbreak with sandwiches, say), but not the pain itself.”
6. TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S BEHIND YOUR FIXATION.
The relationship ended long ago and left you in the dust. It has long since disappeared over the horizon, but you’re still there wiping the particles out of your eyes. Consider enlisting the help of a therapist or counselor to help you get the root of why you’re still obsessing over your ex.
7. RESIST THE URGE TO DRINK, PARTY, SMOKE, OR SEX AWAY YOUR PAIN.
We get it: It’s so much easier to avoid or drown out the pain by having one too many drinks, hooking up with a casual sex partner, or accepting every single party invite. But not allowing yourself to feel and process all those yucky emotions that seemingly pop up at random keeps them stewing deep inside of you. Instead, they will continue to linger if you don’t face and deal with them in a healthy manner.
Good luck moving on to a brighter, happier future. You’ve got this.